Canada's Condominium Magazine
Student tenants were not forgotten in the Ontario Fair Housing Plan, which expanded protection for all tenants. This includes limits on rent increases to 1.8 percent per year. Many students live in rented private condominiums, which are covered under the new rules. Students will enjoy the same protections as other tenants. Peter Milczyn, Minister of Housing for Ontario said:
“Our government is committed to protecting Ontario’s students from unfair rent increases and evictions. Students face a whole host of challenges as they embark on the next phase of their lives – new friends, new responsibilities, and a new place to call home. Knowing their rights and responsibilities as renters helps to ease the transition, while allowing them to keep focused on what matters most – getting a great education to help secure an even brighter future.”
There are 600,000 college and university students going back to school this fall, and Ontario has taken steps to protect those renting off-campus from unfair rent increases and evictions.
New rules effective Sept 1, 2017
As part of its Fair Housing Plan, Ontario has expanded rent control to all private market rental units across the province to protect tenants from unfair rent increases. Students living off-campus, including in condominiums, basement apartments, and houses will have their rent capped at the annual rent increase guideline of 1.8 per cent in 2018.
Some rules students and landlords should be aware of:
- Starting September 1, if the landlord wants the unit for their own use, a close family member’s or caregiver’s use, they must give the tenant one month’s rent or offer them another acceptable unit – and they can’t re-rent it for a year
- Landlords are responsible for maintenance, but tenants have to keep the place clean
- Renters have to give landlords 60 days’ notice before they move out if they are on a monthly or fixed term lease
- A landlord can’t ban pets or guests, but if renting a condo, tenants have to follow any rules set under the Condominium Act.
The new rules also include dispute resolution mechanisms, although the government specifically cautions students — who might be first-time tenants — with some tips:
- Know the rights and responsibilities of tenants
- Ask for a written lease – student renters should make sure they understand it before signing anything
- Keep copies of any documents shared with a landlord.
Disputes between student tenants and landlords are handled the same way as regular tenants, through the Landlord and Tenant Board. However, in the event of urgent issues, such as “illegal evictions or disconnecting vital services like water, heat or electricity, contact Ontario’s Rental Housing Enforcement Unit.”